My last minute, three day escape to the City of Angels left me little time to do much prep work. Despite it being a short flight away, I hadn’t been to LA in years, so I had racked up quite a list of places I wanted to see. Also, I was very excited to see palm trees (who isn’t!).
We stayed in Santa Monica, which was a beautiful location, especially for a short trip. With all the other things going on in my life at the time, I really just left the itinerary up in the air and played everything by ear.
LAX to Santa Monica by bus:
Once I got out of the airport, I stopped by the information booth to check on options of getting from LAX to Santa Monica. Having some time to spare, I opted for public transportation, which I think is a great way to get to know a city. I was given a slip of paper with instructions – it was surprisingly simple and quick, with the bus stopping by Venice before ending the loop at Santa Monica and heading back over to the airport.
- Find the Blue LAX Shuttle sign and take the LAX PARKING LOT C Shuttle, a free service.
- Hop off on the first stop and walk over to the LAX City Bus Transit Centre – if you are lucky there will be a group of people also headed that way and you can follow them. The transit centre should be very easy to spot, across the street.
- Wait by the bay (Bay 12 for the rapid bus) for the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus #3. The ride costs $1.25 and the exact amount is preferred since they do not give change. My bus driver was extremely friendly and helpful, even giving us a little guide of the areas we passed.
Being in a central location at the Wyndham Santa Monica, there was a lot to do, eat and see. The Santa Monica Place and Third Street Promenade (see: shopping) was just a few blocks away, with it’s enticing outdoor location, street performances, shops and restaurants. Of course, one of the big attractions is also Pacific Pier. The weather wasn’t as hot as I expected it to be but the pier is crowded from day to night. Just at the brink of summer, the beach was not too crowded and I was surprised to find the water very warm.
The end of the Pier also marks the end of Route 66, with a sign marking the official end of the famous trail. It’s a vibrant, dynamic location, with lots to do and lots to see, even after sundown.
The Wyndham Santa Monica – With a prime location right across the street from the pier AND Santa Monica Place, the hotel was at the centre of everything happening. Even being by a busy street, I had no noise complaints whatsoever. The staff were extremely friendly, helpful and patient as well!
Bruxie – If you want to try some chicken waffle sandwich, there is a little shop on the Third Street Promenade dedicated to waffle sandwiches. For me, it was a one time thing to try out. It wasn’t blow-your-mind spectacular, but the portions were very large so it left you full.
Cheesecake Factory – I never pass up the chance for some cheesecake here.